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DeLay's Weasel Words Come Back to Bug Him!
January 29, 1999 -- BOSTON -- Before The Doc turns to the latest news about America's most famous bug exterminator, Tom DeLay, a few words are in order on a few other topics.
Folks, the events of the last two days in and around the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton have nothing to do with partisanship, the death of bipartisanship, secret "star chamber" proceedings with cameras and reporters locked out, or grandiose "promises" of cooperation evaporating in a puff of near-party-line votes.
It has everything to do with Senate GOPers going as George-the-Third loony as their House counterparts.
First, the Republicans announce that they intend to depose Monica in what is to be a marathon eight-hour videotaped session. Imagine an eight-hour all-talk, no-action date with Asa Hutchinson, ladies. Sounds like big fun. Not. Hutchinson tries to come across as a down-to-earth country lawyer type, but there were moments in his presentations before the Senate (ironically, those moments when he appeared not to be reading from a prepared statement) when just a hint of Al Gore stiffness shined through.
Minutes after that announcement, the Democrats moved for a vote to prevent the tape from being released to the public. Naturally, the Republicans geniuses voted it down.
Yes, the Democrats seemed indignant. But take The Doc's word for it -- this is classic Democrat rope-a-dope. Remember what happened when Clinton's Grand Jury testimony was released? And not much later the Paula Jones deposition? Each time, Clinton's poll numbers went up, as the press and New Moralists are wont to point out, usually gnashing their teeth in disgust at how the public "doesn't get it."
What they don't tell you is that the public's belief in the plausibility of "high crimes and misdemeanors" dropped with each of the tape dumps -- and when it comes to extorted perjury resulting from the merger of an out-of-control Inspector General's obsessive search for anything to pin on Bill Clinton with a "civil rights" suit that smacks of fraud from the word "go," most Americans do in fact "get it."
The good news for Monica: any leak of video material is bound to help her approval ratings, too.
Meanwhile, the Senate refuses to open up debate and deliberation to the public, continuing to give America the "mushroom treatment" -- keep 'em in the dark and feed 'em a lot of crap. Those of us who read the papers online missed CNN's full-page ad calling on the Senate to hold all future deliberations openly.
Now, the cynic in The Doc says they're doing this because they want the viewers. But for once the interests of the cable news networks -- who have been, shall we say, less than fair to Bill -- coincide with the public interest.
As if the Senate cares.
Which segues clunkily into the latest scoop of poop concerning Tom DeLay -- one of the most self-aggrandizing hypocrites to tarnish the Beltway.
It's bad enough that he's a friend to sweatshop owners in the Marianas. It raises The Doc's hackles that he's accused of teaching another Texas pol how to evade campaign finance regulation. And it burns The Doc that Larry Flynt has said zip-o to confirm or deny that he has evidence substantiating rumors that Tom has a taste for -- to put it delicately -- underaged, compensated Mexican female companionship.
So The Doc's hat is off to ace journalist Ann Louise Bardach, whose prose usually finds its way into Vanity Fair. Yesterday, a new article by Bardach was published in The New Republic. Titled "DeLayed Justice", Bardach details a deposition given by DeLay in the matter of his old exterminating firm, and some instances of -- shall we say, questionable candor by the ol' Hammer while under oath?
Naaah -- let's say "perjury," loud and clear.
Here's the scoop: DeLay, who has been outspoken in his characterization of President Clinton as a felon, looks to have lied under oath during the course of a deposition concerning some nasty goings on as a result of merger and restructuring at his bug-killing company, Albo Pest Control and a subsequent lawsuit filed by Robert Blankenship. We won't go into too many details; what you need to know is what DeLay said in his deposition of February 5, 1994:
Question: And are you presently still an officer or director of [Albo]?
Well, gee, Tom, if that's the case, why is there a financial disclosure form from for the year 1993, signed by you and dated May 10, 1994 -- that's three months after the deposition, for those of you keeping score -- in which you identify yourself as Albo's Chairman of the Board?
Now, we all know that millions of perjuries are committed each year in our court system -- but just over a hundred folks are found guilty of perjury each year. But to hear DeLay talk about it, perjury is an impeachable crime of state. Yet there's DeLay, as Bardach points out, using the very same sort of "weasel word" tactics DeLay decries Clinton for using. Only in this case, we also have a signed government document which directly contradicts DeLay's testimony.
Can anyone say "crime of state?"
Click here for Dave "Doctor" Gonzo's previous commentary in American Politics Journal.